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The Rainbow Young Performers Project 2012 is to kick off over the July school break with Legally Blonde: The Musical at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.
Running from July 3 to 15, the production tells the story of college sweetheart and homecoming queen Elle Woods, who doesn’t take no for an answer.
So when her boyfriend Warner dumps her for someone serious, Elle puts down her credit cards, hits the books and heads for Harvard Law School – with her chihuahua Bruiser, of course.
Based on the movie of the same name (starring Reese Witherspoon), Legally Blonde – The Musical is the award-winning Broadway sensation created by director/ choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray).
Some 40 performers from high schools in KZN have been chosen to perform in the musical after an intense audition process.
Tonight caught up with Robyn Ivey, 16, from Thomas More College, and Sarah Thompson, 14, from St Henry’s Marist College, who share the lead role of Elle.
Ivey said she had watched the movie before the auditions and was surprised it had also been made into a musical: “But I was extremely excited because it’s a very fun, girly movie. Elle Woods inspires us to be ambitious and to work for things we want. She shows us that we can find happiness in love and that there is a reward when we use our natural abilities.
“Another powerful lesson is to not stereotype people. The production is so meaningful because Elle proves so many people wrong,” she said.
Thompson felt another strong lesson to be learnt is that you can achieve anything you want to if you set your mind to it and work for it.
“It also highlights the importance of integrity and ethics. Plus, you should never judge a person by what they look like. Elle… shows us all that it’s not about what others think of you, it’s about what you think of yourself!”
Both young actors will perform for the first time in The Rainbow Young Performers Project, which aims to offer young talent an opportunity to be trained by professionals and learn what it’s like to perform and work at a professional level.
They both expressed immense gratitude for the mentors.
“It has been one of the most thrilling experiences of my life,” said Ivey. “It’s given me confidence in my singing, acting, dancing and also socially. The cast is phenomenal and we are all so supportive of each other. It is so great to be working with people who have a similar passion.
“Themi Venturas is a wonderful director, Daisy Spencer is a fantastic choreographer… She displays such passion in her work. And Desirè Govender (vocal training) is just the cutest person ever, with an amazing heart.”
Thompson said the professionalism, reputation and standing of the production, and team, have been the most exciting parts of her journey.
“It has been an honour and privilege to work with such well-known and respected professionals such as Themi Venturas, who is like the father to us all in the production. Daisy Spencer – all I can say is her choreography is pure genius. Her dance steps are so creative, yet easy to learn.
“And Des Govender is like a mom to all of us. She and her team (Marijke de Bruin) have guided me and taught me so much in such a short period of time.”
• Legally Blonde runs July 3 to 15 at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre. Tickets: R100 or R80 at Computicket.